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Abundance and Diversity of the Coleopterous Fauna of a Calcareous Grassland Under Different Cutting Regimes
M. G. Morris and W. E. Rispin
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Aug., 1987), pp. 451-465
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2403886
Page Count: 15
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(1) Coleoptera were sampled from 16 x 12 m plots in an experiment of four replicates of four cutting treatments: May, July, both May and July (referred to as Both), and Control, established on oolitic limestone grassland dominated by Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) J. & C. Presl. (2) Samples of turves taken at five periods during 1973-74 were extracted by heat in Berlese-type funnels. In each period, four turves, each 0.071 m2, were taken from each plot, singly and sequentially. The data for each period were pooled for analysis. (3) Significant differences were recorded in the number of species represented (S), diversity (D, Brillouin) and evenness (E, Brillouin) of the fauna summed over the year; values were higher on the control plots and, though less clearly, on the July plots. (4) D and E were greatly affected by the numbers of the small staphylinid Amischa analis (Gravenhorst), which was especially abundant on the May and Both plots. (5) Significantly more species and individuals of predacious and saprophagous families were recorded on the Control plots and, though less clearly, on the May plots. No significant differences were recorded for phytophagous groups. (6) Significant differences between treatments for S and D were recorded for some sampling periods, particularly in August after application of all the treatments, but there were no differences in the abundance of individuals (N). (7) The results are compared with earlier work on Hemiptera sampled from the same experimental plots and with other studies of the abundance and diversity of Coleoptera in grassland. Little similarity between the effects of the May and Control treatments, such as occurred for Hemiptera, was found in Coleoptera. This was partly attributed to a lack of vertical stratification of the beetle fauna in grassland. (8) The results are discussed in relation to the management of nature reserves and the achievement of apparently conflicting objectives in conservation management. Rotational management offers a relatively simple means of doing this.
Journal of Applied Ecology © 1987 British Ecological Society